MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) – On Monday, Google’s homepage was dedicated to Fred Korematsu, a civil rights activist who fought the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Korematsu, who died in 2005, was honored on what would have been his 98th birthday. Monday is also recognized as Fred Korematsu Day in California and three other states.
After the U.S. entered World War II, Korematsu attempted to enlist in the National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard, but was refused due to his Japanese heritage.
In 1942, Korematsu went into hiding after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which forced people of Japanese descent into internment camps.
After being arrested and convicted, he challenged the constitutionality of Japanese internment in the landmark Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. United States. Korematsu lost the case and he and his family were sent to an internment camp in Utah through the end of the war.
Executive Order 9066 was not formally repealed until 1976 by President Gerald Ford and Korematsu’s conviction was not repealed until 1983.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a law granting reparations and a formal apology to internment survivors.
Korematsu’s honor comes as Silicon Valley leaders voiced opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order that banned immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations and the accepting of refugees.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin was spotted at a weekend protest at San Francisco International Airport, where several people were detained because of the order.
The Mountain View-based company also established a fund that could raise up to $4 million to groups supporting immigrant rights.